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Vancouver looks to Washington, Colorado as it becomes first to regulate marijuana stores

April 22nd, 2015 · 6 Comments

Gotta say, I still don’t understand what just happened.

There were increasing complaints from the public every month since federal law on medical marijuana changed last April and marijuana dispensaries suddenly bloomed like a thousand flowers in Vancouver. City types kept saying there was nothing they could do because the federal law had created a gray area.

But today, it appears there is something they can do. To wit: charge dispensaries $30,000 for a permit, make them get a business licence and a development permit, tell them they can’t be within 300 metres of a school, community centre, neighbourhood house or other marijuana business, forbid them from selling edible marijuana stuff, and more.

The city report is here. Next week, council will vote on whether to send it to a public hearing. No speakers allowed at that decision point, folks, but you can all line up for the public hearing, which I suspect will be scheduled faster than a Wall Development rezoning.

In the meantime, great fun to be had getting the kinds of quotes one can only get in Vancouver about this kind of thing. My favourite, to date, from Kerry Jang in my Globe story: “We have more of these shops than Tim Hortons.” I haven’t had a chance to check other people’s stuff yet, but I bet it’s rich.

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